DIYer finds 'secret shower' hidden behind another shower

Hannah reveals the secret shower hidden behind a false wall in her shower
DIYer finds 'secret shower' hidden behind her shower after removing tiles (Image credit: @The Otto House)

A DIYer has shared the moment she found a secret shower hidden behind her existing shower, before then finding a hidden mirror behind that.

The discovery was made by Hannah Otto, a resident of Hampshire, who noticed that the tiles around her shower were moving. Upon investigation, she found another shower behind the original one and then uncovered a wall with tiles and a mirror. 

Hannah shared the video of her discovery on TikTok and Instagram, which surprisingly prompted more people to share their similar experiences. Hannah has been sharing clips of her renovating her detached thatched cottage on social media since buying 'The Otto House' in 2020.

Secret shower hidden behind wall in her shower

In her video, Hannah describes how she took the tiles off her existing shower unit after it was discovered to be leaking.

To her surprise, she discovered a whole other layer of tile behind her shower and after removing the wooden structure, which was covered in black mould, she found a whole other shower, completely intact.

Hannah told Homebuilding & Renovating: "I was very surprised to find the other set of tiles and a whole shower, especially with so much space in between as it was so wasted being boxed off like that!"

Then she discovers a hidden mirror too

Hannah's discoveries didn't end there as she also found a mirror behind the tiles in the hidden shower she discovered.  She also, bizarrely, found some capped off copper pipes, which she believes are radiator valves, and a plethora of delightful peach-coloured tiles.

Hannah is still working on her bathroom transformation but in removing the layers of false walls and taking the bathroom right back to its original walls, she hopes she'll end up with much more space in what was a fairly small bathroom.

She also joked that she was pleased to find "no dead bodies".

Plans to remove concrete feature to add space

Hannah hasn't finished renovating her bathroom yet but says she now plans to speak to a builder to work out whether the concrete "decorative feature" she discovered, can be removed.

She told us that this spans the entire back wall of the bathroom, so it's a bit of a head scratcher, but "if removed would give us so much extra space".

A before mage of the shower with white tiles and Hannah revealing peach tiles underneath and the unusual plumbing

The white-tiled shower before Hannah started work removing the shower and her removing the chipboard false wall to find the old shower and the peach tiles (Image credit: @The Otto house)

Why we think this happened

The practice of building over an existing feature instead of removing it is commonly known as "overboarding."

While this approach may have proven cost effective in the past due to reduced labour costs, it is unusual to leave the shower completely intact. Now house values are far greater, overboarding would not always necessarily be cost effective in the long term due to taking away additional square footage.

We asked Hannah why she thought this had happened and she was baffled as to why they left so much space. "Whilst layering up tile isn't completely unheard of, to have that much space boxed off and to have left the shower in is very unusual! However, the house is full of DIY quirks, so within the context of the whole house, it also isn't completely surprising."

She added that she did initially worry that the reason it had been overboarded like that was due to something toxic being present, like asbestos. "At first I wondered if it was asbestos but we had it checked out and it's all fine thankfully.

"I honestly have no idea now though and can only think they got the shower tray at a good price and built the rest of the bathroom around it!! I honestly cannot work it out at this point!"

The house renovation quirks didn't stop there

In addition to the extra shower, Hannah explained some of the other discoveries she made in the house. "We found tile laid directly onto tile on the kitchen floor, which meant the top layer of tiles were constantly cracking," she said.

"And most surprisingly, in the living room and hallway we have solid wood flooring which has been laid on top of carpet! We also have light switches laid horizontally and kickboards in the kitchen covered in tin foil."

Hannah is still working on her home and you can follow its progress on her Instagram and her TikTok page.

Joseph Mullane
News Editor

News Editor Joseph has previously written for Today’s Media and Chambers & Partners, focusing on news for conveyancers and industry professionals.  Joseph has just started his own self build project, building his own home on his family’s farm with planning permission for a timber frame, three-bedroom house in a one-acre field. The foundation work has already begun and he hopes to have the home built in the next year. Prior to this he renovated his family's home as well as doing several DIY projects, including installing a shower, building sheds, and livestock fences and shelters for the farm’s animals. Outside of homebuilding, Joseph loves rugby and has written for Rugby World, the world’s largest rugby magazine.